GC offers tips after finding operators fall short in complaint handling

| By Zak Thomas-Akoo
The Great Britain Gambling Commission (GC) has published tips for operators on handling complaints following a comprehensive review in licensee complaints policies that found a number of areas for improvement.
Gambling Commission

In the total, the Commission reviewed the complaints policies of 34 licence holders from a number of sectors before assessing for accessibility and ease of use.

The work was referenced in the GC’s 2021-2022 business plan where the regulator tasked itself to “explore how to improve how licensees deal with consumers when things go wrong”.

The Commission also claims that the work will complement the long-delayed government review of the gambling act which will seek to point the way to future legislative reform.

The review white paper was recently delayed again following the resignations of prime minister Boris Johnson and the minister responsible for the review, Chris Philp.

According to reports, the white paper is expected to be delayed at least until the new prime minister takes office in autumn of this year.

GC director of policy Ian Angus argued the value of good policies in this area. “Good complaints handling is vital in the gambling industry. We want consumers to be able to easily find and understand policies and be able to raise their complaints without any barriers,” he said.

“We know gambling businesses receive around 200,000 complaints every year, and while the government’s review of the Gambling Act will consider where these can be escalated to, the majority will still need to go through the licensee’s complaints process first.

“We want to help them handle these well, to improve outcomes for both them and consumers.”

Some of the advice the GC gave included to provide a link to complaints procedures on a homepage, use plain English and avoid jargon or legalese, have a short and clear process for complaints, tell people what information is needed to investigate their complaint, include details of the eight-week time limit for resolving complaints or issuing a final response and to be clear when the operator has given a final decision.

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